The most noticeable thing is that the game just feels considerably different. Weapon handling, mobility and the way to play, in Gunfight at least, is very different to anything we've experienced in Call of Duty before.
What's good about Gunfight is that everyone spawns in with the same weapons – nothing separates you from your opponent except your own gunskill and in-game intelligence. Whether this will work the same in the final build of the game is not yet known, but hopefully it does so as to keep players on the same level playing field, at least until shots start firing.
This is likely the exact effect Activision and Infinity Ward are going for, too. They want a level playing field but they want players of any experience level to feel not only like they can win a match, but when they do win matches that they have improved. In my opinion, this could become a very healthy way to help more casual players get wins and improve, unlike features we've seen in the past and in other games where unbalanced weapons or mechanics can be abused. With this, nobody can complain.
As for the differences in weapon handling, this is perhaps the toughest to get to grips with when you first get on. None of this feels like you're playing Call of Duty. The comparisons are a bit dull now but shooting on here does feel much more like a Battlefield or a Rainbow Six Siege.
There's a more significant recoil and kick on weapons like the AK-47, and it does feel like the game is moving away from merely being a twitch shooter. The slow pace accentuates this, as it means every shot counts and you can't afford to just spray and pray (which, ironically, means this might be my worst Call of Duty yet). For pro players and in next year's franchised Call of Duty League, I imagine there will be much more of a focus on positioning, timing and getting the strategies perfected to a tee; I know too well that if you're caught out of position, there's little scope for forgiveness and you'll be spectating your teammate as quick as you could imagine.
The maps in the game are pretty small, too, but imagine they will bare no resemblance to the maps that are played in the full multiplayer experience. These are designed specifically for Gunfight, which I hold out hope is a good sign for fans of the game, as Infinity Ward look to cater every match, map and mode to exactly what is required of it. For a long time the competitive community has been clamouring for proper, competitive-minded maps, and hopefully this has been taken on board and will be addressed upon the game's release on October 25.
From first impressions, it seems there's going to be a lot to enjoy about the game. We know that with the franchised league incoming, there's going to be some serious pressure on Infinity Ward to create not only a fun game, but a solid and rewarding competitive experience that makes the tens of millions of dollars being invested into the Call of Duty Global League a worthy investment.
Only time will tell, but at the very least, Gunfight is certainly a fun and unique experience in the Call of Duty world.